Jazz coach Jerry Sloan on Wednesday used a simple question about the conditioning status of young big men Kyrylo Fesenko and Kosta Koufos to deliver a rather strongly worded warning to one of the two.
And it wasn't directed at Koufos, a teen-aged rookie first-round draft choice from Ohio State.
"Koufos is much farther along than Fes, conditioning-wise, I'd say," Sloan said with reference to the 7-foot-1 Fesenko, a second-round draft choice in 2007 who spent most of last season with the Jazz's NBA Development League affiliate Utah Flash.
"(Fesenko) is a little bit better than what he was last year. But ... young guys should be in shape to be and not get tired. He gets tired. I give him the benefit of the doubt, (because) he's got a big body. But he has to stay focused on what he's got to do. I don't know if he's gonna get it or not.
"You know," Sloan said, "the other stuff has drawn more attention to him than the basketball and that could be a problem."
The happy-go-lucky Fesenko did not exactly impress Sloan by reporting to Rocky Mountain Revue camp earlier this week with bleach-blond hair, and the 21-year-old Ukrainian evidently has done little since to alter perception.
"I think sometimes he thinks we're mistreating him, when we try to get him to play harder and concentrate on what you're doing," Sloan said. "You know, we're not doing it from a malicious standpoint.
"We're just trying to get his attention and make him understand this is a short-lived career if you don't grasp what has to be done," he said. "And that's to work hard. And it can't be 'poor me' if we get on you. If that's the case, then we won't get you out of it. We want to see him succeed but he has to do the work. I can't do that work."
Earlier this week, Fesenko who spent time working out in Florida following a postseason trip back home to Ukraine expressed satisfaction with his conditioning.
"Right now I feel myself that I'm in shape," he said after the Jazz's opening Revue practice last Monday. "First practice of summer league training camp, great. Last year, it was little bit worse. I was almost ... fell down."
Both Fesenko and Koufos will play for Utah's entry in the Jazz-hosted Revue, a six-day, eight-team NBA summer league that gets under way Friday at Salt Lake Community College.
ALUMNI UPDATE: After spending last season in Italy, ex-Jazz point guard Keith McLeod will play for the Dallas Mavericks in the Revue.
McLeod, who also played for new Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle in Indiana, signed with the team last week and is hoping to stick as a reserve point in Dallas.
"Right now I'm just taking it day by day and trying to better myself and help the team," McLeod told www.Mavs.com. "Hopefully that will lead me into training camp and open other opportunities for me."
McLeod and the Mavs also are playing in the ongoing NBA summer league at Las Vegas.MISC.: Koufos was wearing a sleeve on his lower left leg because of what a team spokesman described as "shin splints," but the injury wasn't serious enough to prevent him from practicing Wednesday. ... journeyman power forward Hiram Fuller left the Jazz's Revue camp due to a death in his family. It was uncertain Wednesday when, or even if, Fuller would rejoin the summer team. Fuller played for the Jazz during the 2006 preseason and logged four regular-season games for the Atlanta Hawks during the 2003-04 season. ... Point guard Brian Chase who spent part of one season in Utah, but never did appear in a regular-season game for the Jazz is in training camp with the Atlanta Hawks summer team that is preparing for Revue play.
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